Often times, people simply don’t like the words “old,” “elderly,” or “senior” because the words don’t resonate for them. Regardless of if a person feels “old” or not, certain changes and challenges may arrive that simply never were issues earlier in life and professional counseling can help client’s navigate the new roads.
When big challenges arise later in life, it can be totally shocking and devastating. When people have lived relatively independent lives, and are faced with one or more major life changes, they may really need and benefit from professional emotional support. Medical diagnoses, loss of loved ones (spouses, children, pets etc), surgeries, financial insecurity, loss of vision/hearing/mobility can all have very serious and life-changing consequences. The authors of the book, “The 36th Hour Day,” reinforce to us, “Social Workers are professionals whose skills in helping you find resources can be invaluable. They can also provide practical counseling and help you and your family think through plans. They can help families work out disagreements over care.” The point and purpose of counseling is to help people feel better and navigate new landscapes they otherwise don’t know how to traverse.
Medicare specifically states on their website that “mental health services help with conditions like depression and anxiety. These visits are often called counseling or therapy.
Medicare Part B covers mental health services and visits with only specific types of health professionals including Psychiatrists, Clinical psychologists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers. Also, important to note that Medicare only covers the visits when they’re provided by a health care provider who accepts assignment. All therapists with Blue Moon Senior Counseling accept assignment.
Medicare Part B covers outpatient mental health services, including services that are usually provided outside a hospital. Traditional places for therapy are often held in physician or therapy offices. These traditional places of service can be ideal for mobile adults who are independent, able to drive and navigate doctor’s appointments with relative ease. Fortunately, Medicare also covers mental health services in more non-traditional places of service, such as a person’s home.
As we get older, traditional office appointments are less and less viable and far more challenging than we may realize. Older adults often are simply unable to make it out to appointments due to disability, finances or other limitations. They often rely on friends and/or family for transportation, but don’t want to burden others with the responsibility and time required to help get to weekly recurring appointments. While nobody wants to say that caretaking is burdensome, the reality is that providing transportation can definitely be taxing on loved ones.
Some seniors rely on transportation (busses/vans) provided by the county they live in if they are able to complete the application process. Even when they are eligible for transportation assistance, they need to be prepared to leave their homes 90 minutes before an appointment and may not be picked up for 60 to 90 minutes after their appointments. Can you imagine basically spending your entire day, from getting ready to getting home, to complete an appointment in a brick and mortar office that could have been provided at home? By the time they get home they’re completely exhausted and any psychological benefit is compromised by all the stress surrounding transportation.
This is the whole reason why Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides therapy in the home. When somebody is depressed, has visual and/or hearing impairments, is fighting different types of illness and can’t drive themselves, in-home counseling is a welcome relief and support. Further, Blue Moon therapists glean a wealth of information about the clients when they are visited and assessed in the home environment.
When clients are seen in their in homes, Blue Moon therapists are able to identify risks, challenges and concerns that the clients themselves haven’t identified or addressed. Fall risks, safety hazards, family dynamics and conflict, financial limitations and even need for medical devices or care can be more easily observed and addressed by our therapists as areas to work on through individual counseling when sessions are held in the home environment.
In Individual therapy, the first objective is to complete a psychosocial assessment with the primary client. This is usually completed through a one-on-one, face-to-face session, but from time to time, family members or other important individuals/caretakers may attend. Much information is obtained during the initial encounter, including the presenting/primary problems, the history and duration of the problems, medical diagnoses and medications, a brief mental status assessment and a personal history. By the end of the assessment the therapist and the primary client discuss together the initial goals of therapy in what we refer to as a ‘Treatment Plan.’
The Treatment plan is a co-created, tentative roadmap for the goals of therapy. We strive to make the treatment plan as realistic as possible and Medicare urges us to state the goals in the most specific terms possible so that we can actually gauge progress. A couple of examples of goal language might be that the individual reduces their score on the Geriatric Depression scale from 27 to 24 within 3 months OR that the client attempts to attend 1 activity per day, outside of their room/home, over the next 3 months.
Through the individual therapy sessions, Blue Moon therapists, attempt to help seniors find new ways to accomplish their goals, track progress and identify what barriers are in their way. As people age, they aren’t always able to accomplish tasks in the same way they always have. Sometimes it takes ‘fresh eyes’ to help clients look at challenges in a new light and explore new ways to reach goals. Sometimes seniors are able to make very rapid progress through counseling and other times, it takes longer. Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides the professional support seniors deserve and benefit from to keep striving forward and to not lose hope. We are proud to be allies for seniors facing their own unique challenges.
The therapists at Blue Moon Senior Counseling understand the many challenges that aging can bring. That’s why we come to you. You shouldn’t worry about logistics when you or your loved one needs therapy. You should be able to relax and focus on your goals of health and wellness. Help is on The Way!
The benefits of in-home individual counseling for seniors are endless! Our therapists are Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW’s) who are specially trained and use multiple therapeutic modalities to bring a person-centered service directly to our clients’ homes that they might not have access to otherwise. Clients may reside within an independent living community, an assisted living facility or even their own private homes!
Blue Moon Senior Counseling therapists support clients as they work through stressful life changes, heal from personal loss and process difficult emotions. We also help our clients to change negative thinking patterns and behaviors as well as develop better coping skills.
Blue Moon Senior Counseling is a Medicare covered Benefit. There are usually zero or low out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare Beneficiaries. We also accept some PPO’s and private pay.
Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides services to independent and assisted living facilities, senior living communities, and of course, private homes.